Georgia Tech was done in by a familiar nemesis in the opening round of the ACC tournament. Missing shots near and far, the Yellow Jackets were eliminated by Pittsburgh 61-59 Tuesday night at the Barclays Center.
Tech, the No. 11 seed, missed a slew of makeable shots at the rim, was 11-for-17 from the free-throw line and 4-for-18 from 3-point range. The Jackets, down 58-51 with 43 seconds left, made a late rush reminiscent of their loss to N.C. State. After a pair of free throws by forward Quinton Stephens, two baskets by guard Josh Okogie and then two more free throws from Okogie with 2.2 seconds left, Tech trailed 61-59 with 1.4 seconds remaining after Jamel Artis made one of two free throws for the Panthers.
However, Stephens’ long-distance pass to center Ben Lammers was off line, and he wasn’t able to make a clean catch. The buzzer sounded with Lammers and Pitt players scrambling for the ball. Pitt, the No. 14 seed, advances to a Wednesday night matchup against No. 6 seed Virginia.
Tech (17-15) is out of the picture for the NCAA tournament and will hope for a spot in the NIT, the announcement of which will come Sunday. Pitt (16-16) won despite being held to 38.9 percent shooting from the field. The Jackets shot 35.5 percent for the game, below even their ACC season average of 43.4 percent, which was the lowest in the conference.
Tech endured a slow start by guard Josh Okogie, the team’s leading scorer. Okogie didn’t score his first basket until the 14:53 mark of the second half. He finished with 15 points on 4-for-11 shooting from the field.
Tech guard Tadric Jackson led the Jackets with 17 points but was 8-for-21 from the field, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range.